Business demography in the provinces of Treviso and Belluno as at 31.03.2023

The growth of the building industry in the province of Treviso is slowing down. Retail trade activities continue to decrease in both the Treviso and Belluno areas.

Economy - published on 04 May 2023

Source: Treviso Belluno Chamber of Commerce studies and statistics office


Treviso, 29 April 2023. President Mario Pozza’s comment

The data on business demographics for March 2023 show trends already observed even in previous surveys,” commented Mario Pozza, President of the Treviso-Belluno Chamber of Commerce. ”The contraction of retail trade is accentuated, both in Treviso (almost 140 fewer companies in the last year) and in Belluno (almost 70 fewer). But if in Treviso it is particularly the component of shops specialised in the sale of non-food goods and the itinerant trade that suffers, in Belluno the decrease is more sectorally widespread and concerns both minimarkets and shops specialised in the sale of food products, as well as those specialised in non-food.

As repeatedly emphasised, I believe that this downturn in commerce deserves to be examined in depth,” the President continues, “even considering the fact that in this sector we find activities that, in particular territorial contexts, perform a function of social protection for communities. On this topic, we are ready to move on to more on-the-ground analyses to understand how to concretely support these garrisons”.

If retail trade explains most of the drop in the number of companies in the Belluno area, ” Pozza continues, “in the province of Treviso, on the other hand, other factors contribute, representing new elements compared to previous monitoring. The March data show in particular that growth in the construction industry is slowing down (from +250 companies to +160 companies on an annual basis in the last survey) and the trend in agriculture is reversing (from +30 companies to -130 companies). In particular, activities related to the milk and cereal sectors are decreasing, in the wake of a now historical trend in the province that pushes smaller businesses to close, with processes of merging funds (no decrease in the agricultural surface area used) that favour a company size more suited to sustaining the current market needs”.

At the turn of the year, as is well known, statistics on business demography are conditioned by the prevalence of cessation practices. This administrative phenomenon suggests that only annual trend changes should be considered, comparing the stocks recorded as at 31 March 2023 with those of 12 months earlier.

In this way, some of the trends already highlighted in previous reports are confirmed, with some new elements.

On a general level, in Treviso both business locations (+85) and dependent local units (+304) continue to grow. But, if for the latter the intensity of growth is similar to last year, for headquarters the trend increase is significantly slowing down: it was in fact +554 units last year.

  • The reasons for this are essentially as follows the growth of companies in the construction sector slows down, although it remains in positive territory (+165 compared to +253 recorded between March 2021 and March 2022);
  • the downturn in retail trade worsens: -138 companies when in the same period last year the Marca had already lost 46 companies. Businesses specialising in the sale of non-food products and itinerant trade activities in particular are decreasing. In retail trade, even branches are down, albeit slightly (-8);
  • agriculture reverses the trend: in the last twelve months, from March 2022 to March 2023, it lost 130 companies, compared to +30 in the same period last year. Cereal cultivation, dairy cattle breeding and mixed cultivation-breeding activities are the activities in which the year-on-year contraction is mainly concentrated; on the other hand, the increase in grape cultivation activities continues;
  • the negative downturn in manufacturing intensifies (-69 companies, compared to -34 last year), offset, however, by a similar growth in branches (+74) in addition to the +50 already recorded between March 2021 and March 2022. The clothing and wood sectors are most affected by the contraction of business locations;
  • even the contraction of the catering business is accentuated (-91 locations, compared to -35 last year);
  • the advanced tertiary sector continues to grow, particularly professional and technical activities: +128 locations added to the +117 recorded from March 2022 to March 2021.

Therefore, construction, business services and, to a lesser extent, personal services continue to support the business demography in the Marca Trevigiana, which as at 31 March 2023 has 79,463 active business branches and 18,958 local employee units. There are 22,632 craft businesses, down by 6 units compared to the previous quarter, but up by 35 units on an annual basis: the offsetting effect is basically +121 craft businesses in construction and -91 in manufacturing.

In the province of Belluno, opposite dynamics are observed on an annual basis for the two components, company headquarters and dependent local units. Compared to March 2022, business premises fell by -68 units, a reversal compared to the same period last year when the trend was slightly positive (+9). The decline in business locations over the last twelve months is offset by the similar increase in employee units/branches (+72), but the intensity of growth last year was almost double at +130.

The dynamic of business locations is affected by retail trade, which, compared to March 2022, lost -69 locations (a year ago there were -19 locations year-on-year). The comparison with the first quarter of 2022 shows in particular a decrease in the number of mini-markets, but even in establishments specialising in the sale of foodstuffs and establishments specialising in the sale of non-food products.

Other trends observable from the first quarter data can be summarised as follows:

  • the decline in catering-related activities is accentuated (-16 locations compared to March 2022, and -7 was the result in the previous year). Dependent local units remained stable over the last year, compared to a growth of +17 units last year;
  • manufacturing lost 10 locations compared to March 2022, but 36 fewer in the same period last year. The decline over the past year particularly concerns metalworking and eyewear. On the other hand, dependent local units increased (+18 compared to March 2022);
  • slightly down in agriculture (-8 locations) and in laundry services and hairdressing and beauty salons included in other personal services, for which there were -6 locations, offset by a similar increase in dependent local units;
  • the construction sector is substantially stable (+2 locations on an annual basis), but the artisan component has lost 23 companies in the last year;
  • growth in real estate activities slows down (+9 locations over the past year, compared with +32 in the March 2022 to March 2021 comparison)
  • hospitality-related services continue to increase. Compared to March 2022, there were +25 accommodation activities, equally distributed between locations and dependent local units;
  • scientific and technical professional activities are growing (+11 locations, in addition to +16 last year).

As at 31 March 2023 there were 13,671 active company branches in the province of Belluno, plus 4,555 dependent local units.

The total number of handicraft enterprises is 4,595, a loss of 29 companies compared to March 2022 (-48 the previous year).

Full text in the attached document..

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